Re: Byron Katie (the Work)- Power Corrupts
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: July 03, 2008 03:25PM

My 2 cents on that, I think, is that ancient societies, especially asian were controlled as strict dominance hiearchies. Patriarchies. (even today they still use that word).
And the Master of the family, or Guru, literally had absolute power, even to the point of death over their underlings.
So raw power and abuse was used to keep people submissive.

Also, Power corrupts, so basically every Guru goes power-crazy and starts beating, boozing, and screwing. (as per Zimbardo). (The Romans knew that as well, that Power makes men insane).

This is what I personally see today in the old-school gurus that force people to SUBMIT.
They can't beat them anymore, but they can beat them down psychologically.

I tried to enrol in some Kung fu classes before, and every time, the local "Master" started to play Dominance Mind Games from day one, trying to get you to submit. I just left.

I took some Aikido, and the Sensei was cool, no powertripping. He didn't have to powertrip, you knew this old guy could break your spine in 3 seconds. He was a good guy, cheap prices, open classes, no fancy robes to buy. He is still there years later.

so I think its a combination of violent human history in Dominance.
And also Power Corrupts.
The Romans used to have a slave tell their Generals on the chariot...YOU ARE ONLY A MAN,NOT A GOD, as the Romans knew that Power turned rational men into insane beasts.

So maybe its that POWER CORRUPTS that drives Guru's over the edge. I think that's probably it.
You get power over others, and you start going berserk. It could happen to anyone.

I remember hearing stories about Milarepa and Marpa, the former being a great Tibetan Buddhist master who was a student of the latter. In these stories the latter would always be crazily abusive to the former. I could never get how I was supposed to find this inspiring for my own spiritual practice.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/03/2008 03:28PM by The Anticult.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: July 03, 2008 10:48PM

Anticult ... Babyji must be the devotees. Hahaha.

I have a few comments about some previous issues that were raised.

- The 'lying' thing - Anticult is correct. In the mind of a cult member it is okay to lie because yes, the ends do justify the means as follows: "It's okay because we lie with intention to help not hurt people."

(I am not a scientologist but I think it is highly likely that is their modus operandi also. In former days I might have stood up for Scientologists 'freedom of belief and religion'. Now I think new Scientologists are mind controlled from the moment they take their first e-meter test. There is no freedom of mind there.)

My Guru even told us that he lied to trick us onto the spiritual path, because if he had told us the truth we would not have followed the spiritual path. We all laughed heartily along with that one. Of course we wouldn't have. Didn't he tell us that the spiritual path is hot and bitter? God was always 'testing' us in ever more ingenious ways to make sure of our commitment. It was hard work! Normal people are much too selfish and base (read: sensible, grounded) to follow the spiritual path voluntarily !!! Hahaha.

- On the Elizabeth Gilbert thing, as soon as you go on that 'Eat Pray Love' blog you are bombarded by merchandising. T-shirts, hats, mugs etc. with quotes from the book. Not only is Gilbert becoming a mini-guru in her own right, people are also swooning to see this 'Richard from Texas' guy, who is a real-live 'character' from the book. Apparently he understands something about 'soul-mates' that the ordinary person is unable to perceive. (Oh, by the way your soul-mate sounds like a royal pain in the a** from the way he describes it. I'd rather just hang with someone who I get along with, personally.)

At the bottom of the blog they jokingly refer to mis-spellings of Gilbert's book title. One of those seems particularly appropriate to me, it is: 'Eat Prey Love' (Just go to the Oprah message boards about the book to see how people's lives are being affected by it.)

- Steve Sashen (sorry to point fingers, but this needs to be said): As soon as I went on his blog and saw the Anti-guru thing, my stomach turned over. I have been involved in a cult for over ten years. I have just about seen it all in terms of the weird things that happen to people when they get 'spiritual'. Particularly with men (sorry guys) who have even a small amount of knowledge of the way that gurus and spiritual groups function. After a while they start thinking of themselves if not as Jesus, then something pretty darn close to Jesus. The humble thing is just an act and they are setting themselves up to be your guru as in: "Don't follow gurus. I'm not a guru, follow me!"

It's a whole new sophisticated level of guru-dom, the 'meta-guru' if you will. As Anticult says, they are much more casual and approachable. The guru in jeans and a t-shirt.

Finally, yeah. The whole thing about small groups of like-minded people who just get together and chat about spirtual matters sounds nice. Maybe that is what Neale Donald Walshe originally intended when he started 'Conversations with God' discussion groups.

Which brings things back finally to his fawningly uncritical endorsement of Byron Katie (Got to get the thread back on topic somehow!) and the ways that even small discussion groups can go horribly astray :) ...

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/03/2008 10:52PM by solea13.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) SYDA, entheogens, Ecstacy, LSD, druggings?
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: July 04, 2008 02:22AM

Solea, your post above is extremely helpful. Having those kinds of posts from those recently "inside" these types of groups helps a lot of people. Today, next month, next year, some people will read those posts and maybe they will start to connect the dots for themselves.

Lying: in the LGAT field, they all believe that "all beliefs are lies". There is some truth to that, in that all beliefs are "constructs". But they abuse that by saying...since all beliefs are lies, then there is no such thing as a lie. So then they can say anything they want, no regard for the facts. They become Confidence Artists.

I do agree that a lot of men go into an Ego-Trip about how they are the best at being Ego-less!!
They are basically Ego is so small it doesn't exist, so that means I am the best!!
As Jon Stewart might say...that is very high on the douchebag scale.

Neale Donald Walsch participated in a blatant Love-Bomb technique for Byron Katie as shown earlier in the thread. My guess is that was some type of book cross-marketing deal. I do not know about his groups, but perhaps the problem there would be if they focussed on HIS writings, or like Eckhart Tolle on his writings only. Its weird how the human power dynamic always seems to screw these things up?

One thing I wanted to drop in.
The Zimbardo Stanford Prison Experiment.
He put normal people into an environment, and they started going berserk with Power. A must read.
More info here. []
Zimbardo has a new book that looks interesting.
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, by Philip Zimbardo

This made me think of the Siddha Yoga group.The POWER the leaders ended up having over people led to people literally going berserk with power, sexual abuses on a large scale, and just outrageous behavior. The Power dynamic feeds into itself.
Also about SYDA, it seems some of the former members of Siddha Yoga has some profound "spiritual experiences" at the time.
One wonders how many of them have considered the idea that maybe someone in the Siddha group slipped something into their tea or beverage?
For example Rajneesh- Osho followers often took the drug "ecstasy".

Osho / Rajneesh Cult Introduced Ecstacy to the West

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to think of a way to drop a little into the tea or water, or even just give it to a few people, or use a little LSD, or a mix of drugs, etc. That clearly happens.
So if a person was slipped that type of drug at an event, even a small dose, they would think it was the practice that did it. But what if it was a drug? If you never feel that again away from the place, it probably was a drug. People get drugged all the time, even by people in bars.

Also, there are those who are promoting so-called "entheogens" (psychedelics, ecstasy, MDMA, Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, etc) to try to achieve altered states of Oneness with the Universe. What are these guys smoking? Well...
One assumes they never learned the first lesson in Rec-Drug NEVER GET THAT FIRST HIGH AGAIN. So when you do ecstacy, you never hit that high again, and you keep going back, trying other stuff. Next thing you know, you are getting "wasted" every week or day. "Wasted" is a better word, more accurate.

The irony is they are simply taking in chemicals which affect neurotransmitters in the brain. Brain scientists are now clearly showing some of these drugs cause brain damage. (of course there are Shamanic traditions, etc, so there is more to the story).

But, the use of drugs has been rampant in this area for decades, so its not a stretch to think some Guru's henchmen use it on groups of people without their awareness.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2008 02:25AM by The Anticult.

Re: new age mindset, being human
Posted by: question lady ()
Date: July 04, 2008 09:11AM

question lady
I would be very interested to hear more about the mindset that led you to leave your partner.
I would say that I became vulnerable to culty stuff when I was a junior in college and a close friend gave me one of Jane Roberts' "Seth" books, The Nature of Personal Reality. That and other "Seth" books tout the famous "you create your own reality" meme. Having grown up in a very difficult, unhappy environment, the "ycyor" philosophy was very appealing to me. Just the idea of it gave me a boost. (I now see that I interpreted the boost as proof that the idea worked.)
Thanks for helping me understand this. I had never considered how just the idea itself might make a person feel good.

Some years into my marriage, I decided that my husband was my main stumbling block and that's why I divorced him. At least two sources influenced my decision heavily: 1) my husband's extreme dislike of a Sufi group I became involved in (which I strongly believe to be a cult), and 2) the female guru Gangaji's teaching that one has to be utterly willing to let everything in their life fall apart for the sake of the "Truth".
It seems to be quite common that people see their unenlightened spouses as impediments. I have noticed a number of people on the Oprah Eckhart Tolle boards wondering if they should now divorce because their partner is "not ready for this great awakening."

I think I've finally let go of needing to "create my reality" - at least to the extent promised by the new age camps. There is actually great relief in that, believe it or not. Now there's much more of an allowance for me to be a human being, rather than some sort of demi-god.
That makes a lot of sense to me. It reminded me of a wonderful passage I read on the Sedona Method & Release Technique thread:
So, back to being a mere ego-driven mortal with all my feelings - positive and negative. And my problems. Reality is very underrated by those who would have you trade it for metaphysical realty, wishful thinking, and many of the other new age/spirituality concepts. Reality is really being in your skin and experiencing all the people and creatures in the world with all your senses. There is truth, substance, and safety in reality (not necessarily a physical safety, but an emotional one), a quiet awe and wonder, which is much more nourishing to me in the long run than all the airy, fairy new age promises which turn to dust when you examine them closely.

QE []

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: July 04, 2008 01:19PM

Yes, question lady, that is a beautifully written passage.

Maybe the first thing I should say is that after re-reading portions of the thread and external links I may own a small apology to Steve Sashen? I'm not sure. The portions of his blog I read were really not so bad, although I didn't get to the stuff about 'The Work'. Maybe I shouldn't have used his name until I had read more of his blog. Sorry about that I didn't mean to misrepresent or mislead anyone.

I stand by the rest of what I wrote ... I did see an awful lot of men trying to take advantage of 'spirituality' to attract and take advantage of foolish women like myself, which leads me to replying to Anticult's question:

"One wonders how many of them have considered the idea that maybe someone in the Siddha group slipped something into their tea or beverage?"

My first thought was ... no, I don't think it would be necessary to drug people into thinking they had a 'spiritual' experience. I remember that in those initial months I was on a total 'high' from the love-bombing and the sense of 'surrender'; of relinquishing all doubts and fears to a higher power and a benevolent father figure. It most certainly felt like something chemical was going on, some extended endorphin rush that maybe a doctor or psychiatrist could explain far better than I ever could.

So I am at home tonight, wandering around, playing with the cat, doing this and that, generally pondering over the question of drugs in cults and then it hits me ... it happened to me !!! With a little help from the friend/teacher who brought me into the cult.

I'm not sure how much I should post regarding my experience in the interest of privacy and remaining within the rules of the forum. It's not that I forgot about the experience exactly, but it was a long time ago, when I just started getting involved in my group. And it's only when Anticult posted it in this context that the seemingly unconnected dots suddenly joined together in a horrible kind of reverse 'A-ha!' moment. An almighty 'Oh-no!' Could I really have been that naive, that foolish, that confused?

What Anticult said is true. I wanted that One-ness with the Universe and hoped for a while I would regain it through my cult activities, because I understood from my 'teacher' that drugs were the 'short-cut' to spirituality, and that the Guru offered the possibility of genuine long-term spiritual bliss through dissolution of the ego into the 'hive-mind' (although naturally I didn't think of it like that) of the group.

Yesterday there was an article on Yahoo about new research into 'magic mushrooms'. They gave people 'psilocybin' (the extract of the hallucinogen from the mushroom) in a controlled environment and they found that the effects may even last up to a year.


In fact, I do think of that first year as my most intense and even 'fun' time in the group. I had some unusual sensations in the first couple of months after I began meditating seriously. I have often thought back to those things and wondered how they could have happened if what I was doing was not real and the meditation was not working ... Sad to say, but I think I may now know the source of at least some of my 'spiritual' experiences.

I have never been involved with SYDA but from my own experience, strong feelings of bliss or sensations of 'energy/kundalini awakening' could be created by the sheer amount endorphins that a new member experiences, which is almost exactly like falling in love; except you fall in love with the Guru and even the group members to a certain extent (there was a lot of hugging and 'I love yous' ... blech).

It could also be from recent past exposure to psychedelic drugs (maybe even suggested by a friend within the group).

Or perhaps in more sinister cases, when 'the end justifies the means', a cult that is not doing so well in terms of failing membership, might well resort to tactics such as those described by Anticult.

All in all though, the power of mind-control, thought reform and all the things that go along with that are probably more than enough in themselves to recruit people and keep them in these groups for many years. No violence and no drugging necessary ... although it certainly might 'enhance the experience' so to speak.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2008 01:32PM by solea13.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) The Psychology of Persuasion Engineering
Posted by: Daphne ()
Date: July 05, 2008 09:01AM

Anticult said: "They taught people how to make the client think you are their best friend, with very specific techniques. (yes, they are sociopathic).
And Byron Katie takes that just one step further, she makes you BELIEVE that she is your BEST FRIEND in the world, and even that you LOVE her. he engineers your Love right into her system, its all there in black and white, very clearly if one is looking for it. She literally "fuses" with you."

Makes you believe? She MAKES you believe. NO one can 'make you believe' anything without your permission. Get a grip.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Daphne ()
Date: July 05, 2008 09:17AM

Byron Katie is as advertised. Yoiu have to do the work. She in no way encourages anyone to depend on her, she specifically steers away from that. I went to a nine day seminar. I was curious to see if there was any of the stuff you and others seem to be concerned about. She worked her axx off the entire time, she challenged people to do their work, take care of their business and stay the heck out of other's. Everytime I read a knock on Katie, it's from someone who never did anything but glance through a book and then didn't want to follow the suggestions. People don't like Katie's work because it doesn't allow them to blame other people for their neuroses, their depressions, their anxieties.
In fact, if you follow her four questions and turnarounds, really did it, it would be impossible for you to to turn her into a guru or cult whatever. You would be too busy taking complete responsibility for yourself, which of course would leave you without your lame excuses for your behavior. Of course, your excuses guarantee your continued suffering, that is a choice you can make.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: yg ()
Date: July 05, 2008 11:47PM

I know that you are sincere. There are far too many people who have done The Work very sincerely and who have seen through this whole deal.

You are not aware of what happens to you or your brain as you continue giving your power away to the four questions and the answers. There is a lot of help that comes at first in the form of relief, but I can tell you that most people who stick with this don't understand the danger of dissassociating from the "whole" of you that includes your body. Unless you are happy to be a disembodied spirit?

You will probably be removed from this forum. You have probably read a few posts and think you get the whole picture. Instead defending anything, you might inquire into this:

The Work never does any harm--is that true?
The Work doesn't bring on dissociation--is that true?
Katie is not followed like a guru--is that true?

One day you may see what so many of us who have ACTUALLY DONE THE WORK have seen. Those of use who thought it was the greatest thing since apple pie. But you see it's not just KT and the Work, it is our desire to continually give our power away to outside authorities. You may say that is not the case with this, but it is. Because you are believing everything KT says and following are surrendering to The Work and you are indoctrinated....hypnotizing yourself. You don't see this, I understand.

Maybe you should inquire on the truth of some what you read here. Like the fact that alot of what KT does is an NLP technique.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) The Psychology of Persuasion Engineering
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 06, 2008 12:14AM

"I went to a nine day seminar. I was curious to see if there was any of the stuff you and others seem to be concerned about."

Those 9 day seminars cost something to attend.

That's a lot to pay for 'something to be concerned about.'

And this is classic troll behavior...puts the onus on us.

Just for clarification, one makes people log on to visit

You want us to take responsiblity for our lives..well since you chose to visit, why not take responsibility for that?

And how about asking BK to take responsiblity by getting herself licensed to function as a clinician? We've twanged that particular banjo string quite a few times.

"You would be too busy taking complete responsibility for yourself, which of course would leave you without your lame excuses for your behavior. "

If BK had such a wonderful effect on your life, you'd be so happy with your life that you'd not need to waste time coming here to the frog-pond.

And just because someone has a woman's name on thier handle...they can still troll by cruelly dismissing the self reports from persons who also went through BK's process and feel they were harmed and want, in the privacy and sanctuary of tell their side of the story.

THis diatribe sounds tiresomely familiar.

Just audit D's posts and note the trend.

And just before you try to write me or others of us off as paranoid, negative, or afraid to face our egos, we've had so many visits from impolite and invalidating visitors that we can spot the trend a mile away.

Caution: If you try to behave this way toward your employers or coworkers this could lead to trouble for you at work...this sort of abrasiveness may work within the closed confines of BK-land or the strange sub society where
New Age shaming is allowed to go unrebuked...but in normal American work places, if you behave toward co workers as you're trying to behave
toward us, on this message board, it will not be appreciated.

And in this softening economy, you want to stay employable...especially if you want to keep spending money on BK material...


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/2008 12:23AM by corboy.

Re: Byron Katie (the Work) The Psychology of Persuasion Engineering
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: July 06, 2008 12:15AM

Daphne wrote:

"NO one can 'make you believe' anything without your permission. Get a grip"
"You would be too busy taking complete responsibility for yourselfwhich of course would leave you without your lame excuses for your behavior. Of course, your excuses guarantee your continued suffering, that is a choice you can make"

In fact, Daphne, people CAN make you believe.

There are people who know how EXACTLY how to get people to believe and do things. They use highly sophisticated techniques of mind-control and thought-reform including hypnotism . It's a well-documented pehnomenon that has happened to many of the people on this board, including myself. There is plenty of suggested reading material about the subject on this website.

Those sophisticated techniques are the WHOLE subject and discussion of this thread. The shape and form of the Guru/Group may change but those techniques generally remain the same. That is why people from other groups can relate and learn from the incredibly informative material that is presented here.

People here are often coming out of abusive and controlling cultic situations. They come to learn the techniques that were used on them to control their minds. They come here to un-learn the beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that got them into those situations in the first place. People who are victims of mind control are well documented as NOT being weak-willed or foolish. They are usually intelligent and idealistic people whose good faith in a trusted authority figure was abused.

If you come here you need to be sensitive to the fact that a lot the people here are ex-cult members in recovery. Most people here ARE IN THE PROCESS of taking back their lives, taking responsibility for their choices and behaviors and making new choices and lives for themselves. Just like a victim of spousal abuse for example, trust me when I tell you that there is a LOT of pain of betrayal, there is a LOT confusion and of self-blame as in 'how could I let this happen to me.' BLAMING the victim as you do in your posts above has never and will never help anyone.

For me, coming here has been the first step in what looks to be a long road of cult recovery ahead. The things I am learning on this thread are invaluable to me regaining my self-respect and understanding my own behavior. For me coming here is taking responsibility in order to end the suffering caused by my cult involvement.

Personally I think your choice when you wrote the post above was to disrespect and invalidate the experiences and opinions of others. Where is the compassion, where is the concern? I'm sorry but to my mind that does not say a lot of good about the people who do 'The Work'.

This is not a thread for Byron Katie apologists. If you had read the thread properly you would already know all of this. You are entitled to your beliefs and opinions. You are free to log off this board and go and do 'The Work' to your hearts content. There is no need for you to come here to defend it.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.